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How Many Years Of Work Experience On Resume

How To Describe Your Work Experience On A Resume

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A well-written work experience section is a crucial element on your resume because it shows that you have the necessary qualifications to be an asset to your potential employer. It also provides substantial information in a limited space. In this article, well show you how to list work experience on a resume to make a strong impression on your prospective employer.

Writing The Work Experience Section

Writing the resume work experience section is one of the most influential and often trickiest resume sections to get right.

The work experience/job history on a resume is where past job descriptions and professional experiences give credibility to an application or interview. All the other information and sections on a resume, from hobbiesto the personal statement, frame the list of relevant work experience over the last 10 – 15 years. So, how do I describe my work experience on a resume?

This guide will show you everything you need to know about including work experience on a resume, including:

The five-word rule. Think about five words that would be sum up your career. How would you describe your experience? Those five words should then come across incredibly strongly in the work experience on a resume. A hiring manager is not going to remember the sentences that you write, but if they stop reading with those five words in their minds, your resume will have done its job.

College Graduation Date On Resume

There is no need to include your college graduation date unless you’re a recent college graduate. Here’s an example of college listed on a resume without dates:

Bachelor of Arts in EnglishUniversity of New York

Here’s an example of a college graduation date listed on a resume:

Bachelor of Arts in English, 2020University of New York

Many people choose to drop their graduation date from their resume when the degree was earned 10 years prior. If you are worried about age discrimination, leaving off this information is a good way to shield your age.

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Why Dont You Have To Represent Your Entire Career Path On Your Resume

If your work experience exceeds, for example, 25 years, you wont be able to fit all positions in a standard document. This is one of the answers to how far back to go on a resume. Be succinct and show potential employers only your current skills from recent jobs. But if the necessary skills are present only in a 10-year-old position, then indicate that too.

Here we also present some tips for making your resume a great fit:

  • Dont focus on high school achievements

Achievements, as well as your positions during school, are not an important factor in hiring. The only exception will be the case if you have no work experience at all or you are less than 20 years old.

  • Use only relevant information

When specifying companies and positions, add more information about the most recent jobs, and much less about the very first ones. This can be expressed, for example, in the number of bullets describing achievements or responsibilities.

Use multiple bullets when describing the latest relevant work. But the old positions can be limited only to the name of the position, company, and time period. However, all jobs must be relevant to the position you are looking for. All other experiences should be deleted.

How To Write Work Experience On A Resume

2 Year Work Experience Resume 2 Various Ways To Do 2 Year Work ...

A well-written work experience section is a crucial element on your resume because it shows that you have the necessary qualifications to be an asset to your potential employer. It also provides substantial information in a limited space. In this article, well show you how to list work experience on a resume to make a strong impression on your prospective employer.

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If You Are A Student Or Recent Graduate

When you are seeking your first internship or an entry-level position, you may include a job experience you had in high school, particularly if you can make it relevant. Perhaps, while scooping ice cream, you also helped the shop owner with their social media platforms or increased sales by suggesting a new flavor. These are great examples of transferable job skills if youâre applying for a marketing role.

If you are in college and have participated in any meaningful extracurricular activities, these are also fair game for adding to your resume. Consider listing any leadership roles you had within clubs, activities or clubs you initiated, and volunteer experiences that show off your dynamism.

Any job-related internships should definitely be included.

Tailoring Your Work Experience To A Specific Job

When reading a resume, the HR manager is looking for information relevant to that specific position, with its own unique requirements.

Because, guess what, if you send the same resume to every job ad you can get your hands on, its going to be very obvious that youre using a generic resume, not optimized for any of them in particular.

To avoid that, show the recruiter that you actually took the time to read the job ad , and that your resume is tailored to their requirements.

To do this, actually read the job ad in detail, not just give it a quick glance and call it a day.

For example, take this ad:

Theyre looking for someone:

  • With 5+ years of experience in creating digital experiences
  • Proficient in standard UX software
  • With specific knowledge of interface patterns for mobile, web, and responsive design
  • With good understanding of HTML,CSS, JAVA, and more

The point is that theyre looking for specific knowledge within the general position.

So in this case, they want someone with a B.A. degree, 5+ years of experience and with a good understanding of basic front-end development.

You can mention how you excel at all this within your work experience entries

Correct Example:

  • Developed mobile applications with Java, optimized for both Mobile and Web

Now, with all that knowledge combined, lets take a look at some exceptional real-life resume examples that work.

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What Belongs In My Experience Section

When you think about which experience should be included on a resume, you usually think of past jobs. And rightfully soyour full-time work history will often be the primary source of material for your resume. But your experience can encompass so much more than the traditional jobs youve held. Internships, volunteer work, freelance assignments, temporary gigs, and part-time jobs all count as experience, too.

What types of experiences you include on your resume will depend on where you are in your career journey. More established job seekers who arent looking to make a significant career change can likely fill their experience section with their most recent full-time jobs. But if youre new to the workforce, looking to break into a new industry, or making a career pivot, it might make sense to incorporate less traditional experience. Before you include something on your resume, ask yourself: Is this relevant experience for the jobs Im targeting?

What Is A Work Experience Section

First Resume Tips: How to Make a Resume with No Work Experience | Indeed Career Tips

Employment history is a detailed summary of your past work experience. Its a detailed report of all jobs youve held in the past.

Depending on your background, you can include full-time positions, part-time jobs, temporary roles, internships or even volunteer work.

You should list key information such as names of companies, locations, job titles and positions held, dates of employment and responsibilities.

But more importantly, it should highlight your main achievements and provide specific examples.

It has many names. Some people call it employment history. Others refer to it it as work experience or work history.

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Exceptions To The Two

The exceptions to the two-page resume rule are limited, and include:

  • Entry-level resumes: These are acceptable at one page.

  • Federal resumes: They can sometimes be three to seven pages.

  • Academic or scientific CVs and resumes: These types of resumes can often be up to 15 pages long.

Whether you choose to take on the challenge of eliminating your past experiences yourself or need the guidance of a professional, you should now have a better understanding of what to keep and what to eliminate from your past work experience and why it’s important.

Looking to cut back at some of the fluff on your resume, but don’t know where to start? Our free resume review can help.

This article was updated in June 2020. It was originally written by Amanda Augustine.

Work Experience Section Example

Automotive Technician, Icahn Automotive, Rotorua, New Zealand

  • Repaired various cars and trucks. Troubleshot and diagnosed vehicles. Repaired or replaced defective parts. Ensured that everything was in compliance with the companys high standards and clients needs.
  • Awarded Employee of the Month for increasing customer satisfaction with provided services from 87% to 95% within one year.

Executives can use more than one page on their resume to present their extensive work experience. But that doesnt mean that you should let your resume become a 700-page long autobiography.

If somethings recent it also means its more relevant. Thats why you should describe more recent jobs in greater detail. Older ones will do with a brief description, allowing you to save some valuable space for more important details to put on your resume.

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If Youve Changed Careers

The litmus test for including something on your resume is whether or not its relevant, and positions in a completely different industry generally arent. If the career change is recent, its okay to include some older jobs, but try to stick to accomplishments that demonstrate relevant transferable skills. If you changed careers a while back and have more relevant experience since then, you can leave off jobs from your previous career path altogether.

Internships And Volunteer Experience

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Consider any internships that you have participated in if you are transitioning or starting your career, as long as the work you were responsible for is related to the job you are applying to. If you have extensive work history, you might include a separate section for your volunteer work, and you can include any internships with your education and work experience.

Using this resume format, list your accomplishments related to your responsibilities outlined in the position you are applying for in reverse chronological order. For instance, an intern for a university newspaper might showcase how they successfully created and implemented a new format to guide content creation. Listing these types of internship or volunteer roles as your experience can allow potential employers to see your motivation to commit to professional responsibilities.

Volunteer and Unpaid Work Experience:

Customer Service, Whole Skincare Products, Inc. 2017-Present

  • Successfully offered time to the organization and helped increase customer satisfaction

With volunteering, consider how you made a direct impact in the field you volunteered in. This might look like building six tiny homes over a weekend to provide shelter to some of the homeless citizens in your community. If you are seeking a leadership position, you could then relate this accomplishment to your leadership skills, project management skills and communication skills in directing the building team you worked with.

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Addressing Gaps In Your Work History

Rather than leaving a gap, it is best to indicate what you were doing whether you were a full-time parent, on maternity leave, traveling, studying, or volunteering. If you are currently in a gap period, you may want to consider fitting in some volunteer work along with the job search which is an excellent element to include in your resume. You are likely to catch the eye of a potential employer if you can show you have participated in some type of volunteer work even on a very limited basis.

Include A Variety Of Skills And Achievements

Lets say that you have multiple work experience entries on your resume, but the job title and responsibilities were the same or very similar. Avoid repeating bullet points word-for-word from one job to the next. Once an employer reads a bullet point about a skill or an accomplishment, they get it. They do not need to reread it in the next work experience entry.

Include the most detailed accomplishments in the current or most recent relevant entry. Then, in the other work experience entries, dig deep. Think of that project or task that took you outside of your day-to-day. Even if it was something you only did once, it shows your ability to go outside the typical expectations of your job to positively impact an organization. That is who employers want to hire!

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Listing Work History And Professional Background

You might consider this format to list your experience. Start with your most recent employment dates in reverse chronological order, stating only the years you worked within the role:

Work Experience:

Sales Associate. Whole Skincare Products, Inc. 2014-2019

  • For example, Increased online sales by 12% within three months of implementing a new marketing campaign.

When using this format, you may also consider briefly listing any significant time spent on professional development or continuing education that may have been required in the role.

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What Is The Most Effective Format For Work Experience On A Resume

How to Get Employers to Notice Early Work Experience on Your Resume

On a basic level, the work experience layout typically includes:

  • Job title, company name, location of employment
  • Month and year started and left the position
  • Between three and six bullet points briefly outlining your impact at the company

Work experience/job history on a resume should also include:

  • Clear and concise bullet points that demonstrate the positive results of your work
  • Powerful verbs

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When To Remove Old Jobs From A Resume

Ideally, you want to tailor your resume so that the jobs you list on your work history are no older than 15 years and are relevant to the job youre applying for.

That means that if you have a mid-level to experienced role, there is rarely a need to add that summer job you had in high school.

If youre still having a hard time deciding which jobs to remove or add to your resume, remember that the same advice youve applied when learning how to write a resumeapplies here. You want to keep your job listing relevant, clear, and concise.

All in all, there will rarely be a need for you to jot down your entire job history on a resume. Its a marketing document, not a legal one.

How Far Back Should Your Resume Work Experience Go

Your resume work experience should contain every piece of information that is relevant to you securing the role. This will dictate the amount of work experience in a CV that you might include.

If you have a 30-year career, you might choose simply to list the employers for the first 10-15 years and use your precious resume space to describe the most recent resume experiences. However, if your career is 15 years or less, you should definitely include resume work experience about everything.

In terms of the amount of work experience on your resume, try to give more information on the more recent roles. Make use of bullet points and solid text after your have listed the employer and date details – as you can see in our many resume samples.

Should I put seminars on my CV? Typically, a one or two-day seminar would not be included on work experience in a CV. If the training or educational event has a certain prestige or lasts more than a week, then you might consider including it in the education section, but as anyone can attend a seminar, it will not give a huge indication as to your individual level of suitability for the role. You will certainly have more important information to share.

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To Achieve Optimal Page Length

Whilst there is no one-size-fits-all approach to CV writing, there are some industry standards worth paying attention to. In this case, it’s the two-page CV length rule.

If your CV is too long, chances are a prospective employer will miss reading some of your best bits. You may leave the time-poor recruiter disgruntled rather than optimistic about your potential.

Therefore, remove jobs that are older than 10 to 15 years to slim down your CV so that it fits onto the standard two pages recruiters prefer.

Use A Qualifications Summary Or Skills Section

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Consider including accolades from previous jobs in your qualifications summary. The summary is where you highlight your most relevant skills and accomplishments and introduce your professional career. Also, you can include key skills you learned years ago in a skills section at the bottom of your resume.

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Highlight Former Achievements In A New Way

Of course, if you’ve got an impressive accomplishment or title sitting outside that two-decade limit, include it.

“If 30 years ago is the role where you discovered a patent still in use today, you ought to mention that,” says Ceniza-Levine.

You have a few different options for how you chose to work that information in. If a title you’ve held or company you’ve worked for is likely to impress a recruiter, consider a section called “earlier work history” or something similar where you can simply list previous jobs, by noting only the title, company and location, says Amanda Augustine, a career coach with TopResume. Or you could try including it in a “career notes” or “career highlights” section at the bottom of your current work experience by writing something like: “additional experience working for ABC company or serving clients like XYZ,” adds Augustine.

If the role you want to include is one where you did discover a patent or win an impressive industry award, you could also draw attention to this by folding such an achievement into the summary statement, which is typically a short paragraph at the top of your resume that acts as an elevator pitch to readers selling your skills and experience. Or you could include it in a section following your work history that lists awards or accomplishments you’ve earned over the course of your career.

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